Originally published Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 11:19a.m.

KINGMAN – The first case of COVID-19 in Mohave County has been confirmed, triggering Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order regarding business closures. Mohave County and City of Kingman officials are taking steps to enforce it.

Bars, gyms and fitness clubs, and movie and stage theaters in the county are ordered to close immediately, and restaurants are limited to take-out, delivery and drive-through service only. The order also applies to the incorporated cities of Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City.

“These restrictions are mandated by the governor and will be strictly enforced,” said Jean Bishop, chairwoman of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. “We are a strong, determined and committed county. We are all in this together and we will get through this together.”

Kingman Mayor Jen Miles said impacted businesses will be personally notified through Kingman Police Department “kind visits.”

“Today, because of the order now being in effect, our police department will start what they’re calling ‘kind visits’ to ensure that restaurants and bars and gyms and theaters that are impacted by this order follow the directives,” Miles said. “We will work to ensure that the order is executed in Kingman and do what is necessary to safeguard our citizens.”

The mayor also recommended that businesses and organizations not necessarily fitting into categories such as bars, theaters or other operations mentioned by the governor follow the Executive Order, too.

“The purpose of the Executive Order is to minimize gatherings because that is the condition in which most people can get this virus,” Miles said. “Knowing that, and knowing that the populations that frequent some of our entities like our social and private clubs are at risk due to age or underlying conditions, that is why I’ve asked for them to consider making that their highest priority, to protect our citizens and follow the Executive Order.”

Miles said the city was prepared for the announcement. “We knew it was coming and wanted to be as prepared as possible,” she said. “I feel like we are moving to execute the governor’s order appropriately.”

Even before the order took effect in Mohave County at around 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, the City of Kingman and Mohave County had taken steps to mitigate the spread of the virus. City offices and some county offices have been closed to the public, and social distancing and hygiene measures were implemented.

However, all essential city and county services remain operational.

“We’ve been working hard and will continue to do so to ensure that we do what the city needs to do and support our health care partners,” Miles said.

The mayor expressed her thanks to all those throughout the community communicating and educating the area on the COVID-19 pandemic. She said now is a time when individuals can make a difference in preventing its spread.

“This is a time when we as individuals will make all the difference in how fast this virus spreads and the impact on our health care system. It’s really critical that each one of us stay calm, be kind and do the right things to stay well,” Miles said. “If we stay calm and maintain our kindness toward our families, our neighbors and our community, we will come out of this together as a stronger community.”

The new restaurant rules do not apply to cafeterias at nursing homes, hospitals and similar facilities, as well as soup kitchens that provide meals to the needy. They may continue normal operations, but are advised to take strict precautions to ensure social distancing - at least 6 feet between people -- and appropriate hygiene.

All restaurants should also be aware of the temporary modifications in the executive order related to the carry-out of alcoholic beverages. Guidance on this matter is provided on the Arizona Department of Liquor Licensing and Control website.

The county will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 to discuss the situation. The public is encouraged to watch via the county’s YouTube channel.